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FSS125 - First Semester Seminar: Fall 2018

Library Tools

Search Opposing Viewpoints

opposing viewpoints


What is Opposing Viewpoints?

Ever been in class, talking to friends, or scrolling through the news and come across a heated debate on a topic that you don't know that much about? Opposing Viewpoints is a great place to start. It takes controversial topics and highlights the main points, then pulls relevant articles, statistics, news, and more that work as good examples of both sides of the argument.


  • This is a great place to get a feel for the main sides of a controversial topic, but sometimes the information is a little dated. For some topics, an article that's 5 years old won't make a difference. For other topics where cutting edge information is crucial, 5 years is ancient history. Consider your topic and check for currency when using Opposing Viewpoints.
  • Most current information will have a "NEW!" or "UPDATED!" tag on the topic link.


What is TOPCAT?

TOPCAT is our library catalog. You can search here for books, magazines, course reserves, DVDs, textbooks, and other items that we hold in our physical collection (i.e. things you can come pull off the shelf and check out). We also have some of our e-content in TOPCAT, but not all.


  • Keep your searches broad and simple to start. Try 1 or 2 keywords at first.
  • Use the limiters on the left to narrow your results.
  • You'll see other schools listed in your results. They're part of our library consortium, which means we all share materials. If you find something from another school that you want, you can request it and pick it up from our library once it arrives at Alverno.


What is Ebook Central?

This is our main ebook vendor and you'll find over 140,000 ebooks across all different disciplines here. You can download ebooks or view them online, and they're all keyword searchable. Ebook Central is user friendly and easy to navigate. 


  • We recommend you read online rather than download your ebook. If you like to take notes or highlight books as you read, reading them online and saving them to your virtual bookshelf ensures you won't lose your notes when your checkout period expires.
  • You'll need to set up a user login to download ebooks or save them to your virtual bookshelf, but it's free and easy to do.
  • Contact a librarian if you have trouble setting up your ebook account.

Search Google Scholar

google scholar logo

Why use Google Scholar?

Google Scholar takes some of the guesswork out of your research. Instead of wondering if the article you're reading is scholarly or comes from a reputable source, Google Scholar makes sure of it. You still have to do some legwork, but the quality of the information you have to work with is much higher. This is a great place to start academic research when your instructor says you need to find scholarly articles.


  • If you're not sure where to start, keep your searches broad at first. Slowly add additional keywords (or swap them out) when you get an idea of how you want to specify your question.
  • Do you have an article citation and want to know if we have the full text? Plug the article title in and, if we do, chances are good you'll see a [PDF], [HTML], or "Full Text @ Alverno" link appear to the right of the search results.
  • Always use the link on the library homepage (or on this guide) to get to Google Scholar, this will give you better results as it's synced with our databases.
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Ask a Librarian

Off Campus Access

Use the barcode number (starts 4505) on your student ID for both the username & password to access e-resources from off campus.

Library Information

Need more help?

-Stop in for 1-on-1 help. Hours & Location.
-Send us an email.
-Call the reference desk at (414)382-6062.
-Library Home Page.
-Library Staff Directory.

FSS Classes

Use the tabs to find resources for your class.

Librarians need your feedback. Please complete this short survey:

Your library liaison is: Larry Duerr

One of the best resources for finding an article on a topic about Milwaukee is Academic Search Premier. You can find it on the Databases A to Z link on the library web page or you can search the database using the widget:

Academic Search Premier

Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse

Use this guide to find information on epidemics. Your library liaison is: Dolores Skowronek

Let's start with a brief survey

Use this handout to determine if an article is considered scholarly: Is it a scholarly article or isn’t it?

Looking for videos?

Movie clapperboard logo   

The Unseen Enemies: Man & Disease series examines the top eleven infectious disease killers in human history. Enter your Alverno network login and password to view the videos online.


Looking for books? 

Here is a sample of books that are available at the Alverno Library. Click the image for more information.

ZoonosesAntibioticsPolio an American story book coverSpittiing blood book coverAngel of death book coverThe influenza pandemic book coverThe power of plagues book coverAIDS book coverThe great influenza book coverThe infectious microbeTwelve diseases book coverDeadly companions book coverSmallpox book coverEncyclopedia of pestilence book coverMagic bullets book coverunderstanding viruses book coverAids the biological basisPlagues and poxes book coverPandemic influenzabook coverFlu book coverPlauge ports book coverAn American plague book coverOutbreak book coverDr. Jenner and the speckled monster book coverInfectious disease epidemiology book coverThe power of plagues book coverContagion and chaos book coverDeadly outbreaks book coverIllustrated guide to infection book coverKiller germs book coverA plague of prisons book coverThe vaccine race book coverThe Spanish influenza book cover


Looking for ebooks?

The following are available through the Alverno Library. You will need the 14 digit barcode on your student ID to access these books from off campus.

Virus an illustrated guideViral pathogenesisEssentials of clinical infectious diseasesEmerging epidemics book coverThe burdens of disease book coverBiology of plagues book coverEmerging infectious diseases book coverPlagues in world historyThe black death book coverInfluenza book coverDeadly companions book coverPlagues and poxes book coverInfectious disease book coverTuberculosis book coverAtlas of human infectious deseases book coverEssentials of clinical infectious book coverTextbook of influenzaviruses plagues and history book coverMosquito soldiers book coverCholera book coverShip of death book coverMalaria book coverLiviing with polio book cover

Updated 9/12/18

Facebook: How to Read Your Feed

Your library liaison is: Becky Alford


You can browse this page to find tips and information about social media and evaluating different kinds of news.

    Snopes is an award winning web site devoted to debunking urban and internet myths.
  • TinEye 
    TinEye is a website that helps you trace images. You can drag and drop an image to find out where it has been used online.
    FactCheck is a nonpartisan website devoted to monitoring to factual accuracy of political ads, speeches, debates, news, and interviews.
  • On the Media: Breaking News Handbooks
    On the Media is an award winning show dedicated to analyzing the press and media. You can browse these handbooks to get tips for critically analyzing news coverage of various topics including elections, migration, health, poverty, and more.
  • Medical Library Association: Find Good Health Information 
    This website gives tips and guidance to help you evaluate medical information. It also contains links to recommended medical websites.
  • How to Spot Pseudoscience 
    Skeptoid is an award winning website and podcast dedicated to debunking myths. You can use this checklist to evaluate science claims.

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